Karen’s Marguerite Dress!
Hi everyone, I’m excited to be back on the blog today to tell you all about my Sew Over It Marguerite Dress.
I have had this pattern for quite a while and have been meaning to make it for so long, so I thought it was about time I got round to actually making it! On the front of the pattern envelope Lisa herself is wearing a version in a Cotton Dobby fabric and I knew Felicity Fabrics also stocked this, so decided on using the Ecru colourway for my dress. It is such a lovely fabric to work with as it is very stable, so behaves when sewing it and It also washes and irons beautifully. I also like the way it holds the shape of the dress.
Because I had chosen the Ecru colourway, I found it was quite sheer, so decided that I’d need to line my dress. Instead of sourcing more fabric externally, I decided to try and be sustainable and use what I had. I found some lined curtains that had been given to me and cut the dress pattern pieces again out of that lining. The lining is more of a cream colour in comparison to my fabric, so it has given the dress a bit more of an Ivory colour to it, but I don’t mind how that looks.
I wanted the dress to have a clean finish on the inside, so once I had constructed the bodice out of both the outer fabric and the lining, I sewed them right sides together around the neckline, using 5/8” seam allowance. I then flipped the lining to the inside so that the raw edges of the bust darts were facing each other and concealed on the inside. Because of this, it then meant that I didn’t need to use the facing pieces around the neck. I basted the lining to the outer fabric at the side seams within the seam allowance and treated the bodice as one piece during the rest of the construction of the dress. I also did the same with the lining fabric for the skirt – just basting them to the outer fabric (wrong sides together) within the seam allowance and also treating those as one piece.
There are quite a few areas where you need to gather the fabric at the waistline on both the bottom of the bodice and the top of the skirt, on both the front and back. The way this is done, is that you gather between certain notches, so that you don’t have too much gathering at the sides where your hips are, so there isn’t too much volume in that area, and for us ladies with hips, this is a good thing!
Although gathering can be a little fiddly, I found that as long as I used enough pins when attaching the bodice and skirt to the waistband, the gathers stayed in place and I sewed slowly so that I didn’t create any puckers.
The bodice has grown on sleeves, so you don’t have any sleeves to insert as such, however, there are some sleeve cuffs and these I found the most complicated bit of the dress to sew. They do work out fine as long as you follow the instructions step by step and take your time. It is easier if you can decipher the difference between the right and wrong side of your fabric too. Once I had attached the cuffs, I decided to hand sew them into place so that the rolled back section stays in place.
When I got to the point of sewing the invisible zip into the dress, I found myself a little confused for how the best way to insert the zip would be. Usually when you have a lined bodice you sandwich the zip in-between the lining and the outer fabric, but because I had treated the fabrics as one piece, I had already sewn the lining into the waistband. So, I put a call out to the trusty sewing community on Instagram for advice and after receiving some comments, decided the best way to do it, was to sew the zip in as normal, but have the top of the zip tape about 1cm down from the neck edge. This enabled me to hand sew a small hook and eye at the top.
You will notice that I have omitted the keyhole opening at the top of the back bodice. This is because I had heard and seen that there is quite a bit of excess fabric at the back of the bodice and this makes the zip stick out. So, before I inserted the zip, I overlocked the edges of the back of the dress and by doing so, I took about 1” off each side at the top to reduce the amount of gape that would have been created. I then graded back out to the edge of the fabric, so I didn’t lose any fabric around the waist area as that fitted fine. Once I had made this alteration and inserted the zip, the fit was so much better at the back. I made the size 12, but if I make this dress again, I will size down to the 10 so I don’t have as much excess fabric to take off at the back.
I have found this dress to be one of my slower sews, as with the extra lining, gathering sections and the fiddly sleeve cuffs, I wanted to take my time to ensure I didn’t make any mistakes. As always, I have learnt a lot from this make and I am so pleased with the finished result.
I think this dress is definitely more suited to the warmer seasons, however, depending on what fabric you use, you will get a totally different look. It prompted me to buy a faux leather jacket to give the dress a bit more of an edgy look, so I can pair it with some black tights and boots also.
I hope you have found my write up of this dress informative and helpful. Happy Sewing everyone!
Karen – Sew Little Time